16 Nov 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:02 am on 16 November 2020

Latest - Two of New Zealand's leading cricketers are in doubt for the final week of the women's Big Bash league in Australia.

Sophie Devine of the Perth Scorchers.


White Ferns captain Sophie Devine helped the Perth Scorchers to their fourth straight win over the weekend but was forced to leave the field with a back injury late in their game against the Sydney Thunder.

The second placed Scorchers next game is against the top of the table Melbourne Stars tomorrow.

Meanwhile Suzie Bates made a brief appearance for the Adelaide Strikers last week before reaggravating a shoulder injury and she will return home for surgery.

Devine has scored the second most runs this season, while fellow New Zealander Rachel Priest is fifth on the list.

Amelia Kerr, who has helped the Brisbane Heat to third on the table, is fifth on the list of wicket takers with 11.

The teams play another four matches across the next week before the semi-finals.

Mir wins MotoGP title

Suzuki rider Joan Mir clinched his maiden MotoGP crown and became the Japanese team's first world champion in two decades with a seventh-placed finish at the Valencia Grand Prix.

Suzuki rider Joan Mir


Mir began the race with a 37-point lead over his closest challengers Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha and Suzuki team mate Alex Rins, and secured a fourth successive top-10 finish from 12th on the grid to emulate American Kenny Roberts Jr., who won the riders' championship for Suzuki in 2000.

With one race to go, Mir has an unassailable 29-point lead over Petronas Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli, who withstood a spirited challenge from Pramac Racing's Jack Miller to seal his third victory of the season.

Pol Espargaro of KTM completed the podium.

Suzuki, searching for their first constructors' championship since 1982, are tied with Ducati on 201 points heading into next weekend's season finale at the Algarve International Circuit - MotoGP's reserve track in Portimao, Portugal.


New team for Fisher-Black

The young Nelson cyclist Niamh Fisher-Black has signed with a new pro team.

2020 Road World Championships -  Road Race - Niamh Fisher-Black of New Zealand


Fisher Black and fellow New Zealander Miakayla Harvey were both left stranded a month ago when the Swiss Equipe Paule Ka team folded.

However 20 year old Fisher-Black has been signed by the Belgium team SD Worx for the next two years.

"I'm at my best during stage races and classics with lots of climbs," she said. "I was very pleased to already be riding the Giro Rosa this year. That I made it to second place in the final stage gave me huge satisfaction. It also goes to show that I recover well from heavy exertion."

Team manager Danny Stam said the team will help Fisher-Black develop and progress during the next two seasons, and he envisions a successful career for the New Zealander.

Harvey has reportedly also signed with a new team but the details have not yet been released.

Ray Clemence dies

Former England, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Ray Clemence has died aged 72.

Ray Clemence playing for Tottenham in 1986.


Clemence, who played 61 times for England, began his professional career with Scunthorpe United before joining Liverpool and he made over 450 appearances in 14 years at Anfield.

He was part of the dominant Liverpool side of the 1970s, winning three European Cups, five English top-flight league titles and two UEFA Cups.

Clemence's last appearance for Liverpool came in their 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in the 1981 European Cup final after which he joined Spurs and added another UEFA Cup and FA Cup to his trophy cabinet.

Clemence became the first goalkeeper to captain England since Frank Swift when he took the armband in a friendly against Brazil in 1981.

After his retirement as a player, Clemence held coaching positions with England and Spurs.


Venus after a big finish to the year

New Zealand tennis player Michael Venus and his Australian partner John Peers begin their doubles campaign tonight at the ATP Finals in London.

John Peers from Australia and Michael Venus from New Zealand at the 2020 ASB Classic.


Venus and Peers have been drawn in the Bob Bryan Group and play 4th seeds Marcel Granollers (Spain) and Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) in their first-round robin match at the 02 Arena.

Venus and Peers also face top seeds Mate Pavic (Croatia) and Bruno Soares (Brazil) and 7th seeds, Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in their remaining Group matches.

The top two teams from each of the two Groups advance to the semi-finals.

Venus who made a late decision to stay in London to play the tournament due to issues with getting an accommodation voucher in quarantine in New Zealand, says he had Peers have prepared well.

The 33-year-old Kiwi is hoping for a big finish to his season to boost his chance of ending the year ranked in the top 10 in the world which would secure him automatic entry into next year's Olympics.

Canterbury remain in top form

Plunket Shield leaders Canterbury have a 256 run lead over Otago after two days of their game in Alexandra.

Ken McClure scored 165 with Canterbury 424 for four in their first innings.

Unbeaten centuries from Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell have Wellington 312 for two in reply to Auckland's first innings of 279 at the Basin Reserve.

Central Stags swing bowler Seth Rance took a five-wicket bag to help bowl Northern Districts out for 347 in Nelson, Central are 161 for four in reply.

Gate and Ray win cycling titles

Auckland rider Aaron Gate continued his dream end to a troubled year with victory in the Criterium National Championships in Christchurch.

While Gate was among the pre-race favourites after his win in the recent Tour of Southland, the women's winner was USA-based Aucklander Olivia Ray who has only returned to New Zealand because of the coronavirus.

Gate outlasted three riders in a final sprint to win the criterium honours for the first time, as he now awaits the naming of the track team for the Tokyo Olympics.

His Black Spoke teammate Ethan Batt pushed clear until Gate bridged the gap mid-race. He was joined by fellow Vantage Elite track raider, Campbell Stewart, and the Christchurch pair of Josh Scott, also in the Vantage Cycling New Zealand team, and mountain biker Ben Oliver.

Ray out-kicked defending champion Ally Wollaston and Paraparaumu's Katie Richards after World Tour rider Sharlotte Lucas crashed on the second-to-last corner.